Essentials of Medical Geology: Impacts of the Natural Environment on Public Health / Edition 1

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Medical geology is an emerging discipline, being fostered by a collaboration of public health professionals and earth scientists who are working to formulate broader environmental insights into the origin, development, and prevention of disease. The International Working Group on Medical Geology has developed this authoritative and comprehensive work to review the importance and interrelationships of geological processes to the health and diseases of humans and animals.

Essentials of Medical Geology can work as both a reference and course book. With over 30 authoritative chapters, it conveys the essential concepts and practical tools required to tackle environmental and public health problems. It is organized into four main sections, allowing users to read from beginning to end or quickly turn to the section that they need.

The first part of the book covers the fundamentals of environmental biology, reviews the natural and anthropogenic sources of elements that impact health, and illustrates key biogeochemical transformations. The next section details the geological processes influencing human exposure to specific elements, such as radon, arsenic, fluorine, selenium, an iodine. The third section offers an overview of the concepts and techniques of pathology, toxicology, and epidemiology that underpin investigations into the human health effects of exposure to naturally occurring elements. The final section provides a toolbox of analytical approaches to environmental research and medical geology investigations.

Key Features
• Addresses key topics at the intersection of environmental science and human health
• Developed by 60 international experts from 20 countries and edited by professionals form the International Working Group on Medical Geology
• Written in non-technical language for a broad spectrum of readers, ranging from students and professional researchers to policymakers and the general public
• Includes color illustration throughout, references for further investigation, and other aids to the reader

This authoritative reference volume emphasizes the importance and interrelationships of geological processes to the health and diseases of humans and animals. Its accessible format fosters better communication between the health and geoscience communities by elucidating the geologic origins and flow of toxic elements in the environment that lead to human exposure through the consumption of food and water.

For example, problems of excess intake from drinking water have been encountered for several inorganic compounds, including fluoride in Africa and India; arsenic in certain areas of Argentina, Chile, and Taiwan; selenium in seleniferous areas in the U.S., Venezuela, and China; and nitrate in agricultural areas with heavy use of fertilizers. Environmental influences on vector borne diseases and stormflow water quality influences are also featured. Numerous examples of the environmental influences on human health from across the globe are also presented and discussed in this volume. Covers recent advances and future research topics at the intersection of environmental science and public health

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There is no obvious single-volume competitor to this book in the field it describes and it can be strongly recommended for the personal or library bookshelves..."
-John G. Farmer, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, SCIENCEDIRECT JUNE 2005

"Remarkably detailed and comprehensive in its coverage...excellent reference tables and colorful graphic and maps. ...Essential."
- CHOICE, September 2006

"...a well-conceived and well-designed succeeds as both a work of reference and a general textbook."
John G. Farmer for "Science of the Total Environment"

"I’m most pleased to have had the opportunity to learn a lot while I reviewed this book and thus recommend it highly and without reservation. It’s a “must-have” for a well rounded academic bookshelf!"
- David F. Hardwick, MD, FRCPC, LLD, The University of British Columbia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780126363418
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science
  • Publication date: 1/25/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 832
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Medical Geology: Perspective and Prospective

I. Environmental Biology
2. Natural Distribution and Abundance of Elements
3. Anthropogenic Sources
4. Uptake of Elements from a Chemical Point of View
5. Uptake of Elements from a Biological Point of View
6. Biological Functions of the Elements
7. Geological Impacts on Nutrition
8. Biological Responses of Elements

II. Pathways and exposures
9. Volcanic Emissions and Health
10. Radon in Air and Water
11. Arsenic in Groundwater and the Environment
12. Fluoride in Natural Waters
13. Water Hardness and Health Effects
14. Bioavailability of Elements in Soil
15. Selenium Deficiency and Toxicity in the Environment
16. Soils and Iodine Deficiency
17. Geophagy and the Involuntary Ingestion of Soil
18. Natural Aerosolic Mineral Dusts and Human Health
19. The Ecology of Soil-borne Human Pathogens
20. Animals and Medical Geology

III. Environmental Toxicology, Pathology and Medical Geology
21. Environmental Epidemiology
22. Environmental Medicine
23. Environmental Pathology
24. Toxicology
25. Speciation of Trace Elements

IV. Techniques and Tools
26. GIS in Human Health Studies
27. Investigating Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases with Remote Sensing and GIS
28. Mineralogy of Bone
29. Inorganic and Organic Geochemistry Techniques
30. Histochemical and Microprobe Analysis in Medical Geology
31. Modeling Ground Water Flow and Quality


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